Google is marking Chrome OS’ tenth anniversary by announcing a big upgrade to the operating system that brings additional capabilities, increased interoperability and Wi-Fi sharing between Chromebooks and Android phones, and other features that increase productivity.
The taskbar now has a new shortcut called Phone Hub. You’ll be able to use this app to turn on your smartphone’s hotspot, adjust the volume mode, and find it if necessary, all remotely from your chrome OS device. On your screen, you’ll be able to see the phone’s signal strength, battery level, and recent Chrome browser tabs.
Wi-Fi Sync has been extended to accommodate more smartphones, but as long as your smartphone already has a Wi-Fi password, you won’t need to re-enter it on your Chrome OS device.
Google has also confirmed that Nearby Share feature is coming to Chrome OS “in the coming months.”
As for productivity, Chrome OS will now have a Screen Capture with both still capture and screen capturing functionalities. These new videos will appear in so-called ‘Tote’, a new location where you can see photos, screenshots, downloads or pinned data. This will be easily reachable straight from the Quick Settings menu along with other media controls.
The method of attaching a child’s school account to the device has been simplified as many children might need access to the laptop during the ‘study from home’ period. Their profile will also be possible to manage via Family Connect parental controls.
Favourite Clipboard has been revamped so that you can see five newly copied products by clicking the Everything Button (Caps lock on standard laptops) + V. Google has also improved its browsing experience on the new Chrome OS with better copy and paste commands and implemented its Google Assistant right to the browser, providing you meanings and pronunciation of the words right after selecting them.
Google has also introduced Desks. It is a Chrome OS multitasking application that lets you open multiple app windows across multiple desktops. The Desks have now been updated to keep the apps in memory and re-open them even after you restart your Chromebook.
Sharing on Chrome OS also gets quicker with an option to share things between users. Google also added a useful “Select-to-talk” function that will read text aloud for you as part of their Accessibility improvements. This all will come wrapped in a new Chrome OS interface with a new refreshed icons design.
Google states that the M89 Chrome OS update will be rolled out the next few weeks.